Based in France with an annual turnover of €120m, Lutti manufacturers a range of jelly and hard candies, caramels, bubble gums and chocolate but is best known for its sour jelly confections.
Exports account for just under one-third of overall business, but Sébastien Berghe, CEO of Lutti, said expansion into Canada would help drive the company towards its three-year goal of a 50:50 export-domestic business.
“Our primary focus is still on development of the brands. Firstly, in our main market which is France – and we still have some white fields in France, mainly in out-of-food channels that we will invest in – and secondly, we will continue to develop our branded business in countries which make sense for Lutti,” he told ConfectioneryNews.com.
“…We want to accelerate in Scandinavia, French islands and the North of Africa and this year we will start to cross over the Atlantic Ocean, starting a business with a partner in Quebec and Canada.”
Premium, tentative strategy…
Berghe said the move into Canada would see Lutti take on an alternative strategy for its confectionery products.
“We want to first see our product on premium sales points with quite little bags; to make it accessible because it’s premium but also buyable. Without spending a lot of money, consumers will be able to discover the products,” he said.
If initial roll outs prove successful, he said Lutti could then consider upscaling and rolling out to the mass market.
Asked if the firm would then shift into the US market, he said it wouldn’t be out ruled, given the geographical closeness. However, he said: “I always prefer to do things when it makes sense and to be focused on the success of this first trial over the Atlantic... Let’s succeed in Canada first.”
‘Made in France’ appeal
Lutti manufactures its confectionery at its production facility in Bondues, France with 450 workers and Berghe said there were no short-term plans to change this.
“For confectionery, the ‘made in France’ seriousness and creativity is an added value,” he said.